It’s as if I’m already used to mostly classic art films, social dramas, character or social studies coming from Iran, so the surprise because of this almost classic genre crime story was bigger. So even though “Metri Shesh Va Nim” in the original (under which name I found it) or “Just 6.5” is a tense police crime, the film of young hope of Iranian film by Saeed Roustay arrived in the Horizons section of the Venice Film Festival. It is probably not hard to assume that Iran is one of the countries that has zero tolerance for drugs. It is not uncommon there for death sentences to be imposed on dealers whether they are caught with smaller or larger quantities of drugs, and if this film is to be believed, there are as many as six and a half million addicts in Iran.
It depicts this crime story as the war on drugs looks the Iranian way, and just like his teacher Ashgar Farhadi, so Roustayi in “Just 6.5” made a fine mix of traditional Iranian and Western film. There are a handful of actions, from great initial scenes in which the police chase the dealer, and he, after getting rid of the crack package, falls into a hole in the construction site, which is then buried by an excavator while the police are unclear where he could escape. That package of drugs found will later bring one Tehran criminal from serious trouble, as his colleagues will accuse him of planting it from a previous seizure.
The drug department headed by Inspector Samad (probably the most famous Iranian actor Payman Maadi) is looking for the head of the criminal underworld, Naser Khazkad (Navid Mohammadzadeh). Little by little, the police will start approaching him by catching lower-ranking dealers from his organization, and thanks to police methods that are obviously the same all over the world, Samad and his team will learn more and more interesting details for them. And there is nothing black and white here, we see that all police officers have some stains in their files due to previous actions, and we also see how the Iranian judicial system works here.
Of course it carries “Just 6.5” and a certain social note and social commentary because we see here and what these horrifying slums in which Tehran addicts live look like. We also see overcrowded prisons that are very easy to break into, and quite easy to get out of if you have enough money and good connections. It is clear to us that the whole system is really catastrophic and it takes some time to understand how it all works and this may sound strange, but at the same time “Just 6.5” shows how fast and efficient the Iranian police and justice system is, but at the same time unimaginably corrupt and completely absurd. Anyone here can obviously accuse everyone, people are just taking turns in front of a judge who is just waiting for someone to throw a pinkie at him, and this is definitely a police crime completely different from the ones filmed in the west.
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